I saw a video trailer for this and it looked rather nifty. Rather than slowing time, you just stop it. Hahah. Whatcha gonna do now Neo!?

Sorry. The game looks really nice and in addtion to stopping time you get the slow option, make it go backwards. It’s like a VCR. Do you kids still remember what those are? You know, those bulky black boxes that jammed into the machine near the TV that was constantly flashing “12:00″ because your parent’s couldn’t be bothered to read a manual and change the time. It wasn’t that hard!!

Anyways.

There’s a quick interview over at GameSpot. If you like what you read you can go ahead and give the demo version of a try over on FileFront I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. Of course, it’s the same thing I do everything weekend, but that’s another matter.

And this one will wrap up the last of the FPS games I’ve tried out for the Xbox 360 so far. This one, actually held my co-w0rker Don and mine’s attention for a little bit longer. There seemed to be a storyline that was beginning to develop, I still couldn’t hear a damn word that was being said to me. Even after fiddling with the sound controls. Thank-goodness for the subtitles. Anyhow, my first thought on this game was creepy. It’s all dark, and even when you’ve got a flashlight out you can’t see anything.

You first meet up with some other investigator and he takes you to the crime scene. He’s muttering on and on about the storyline or something meanwhile I’m trying not to run into walls from the PITCH dark. Thought I was playing Doom 3 for a bit. (Flashlight mod included!) You get to the scene, it’s kinda weird. They tell you how to take forensic evidence..which means using a spiffy glowy camera to take pictures which you then e-mail or send to your CSI-like lab buddy back at the station who immediately analyzes it and tells you wtf it is. “Ohhh. So that was blood all over her body and not Kool-aid. Gotcha. Thanks for the hot tip. Guess that rules out the kindergarteners as suspects.” Anyhow, you move on as always and something happens and you are sent off chasing some criminal through the building. Oh and apparently there’s other criminals in here too. Who just like to randomly attack you because they’re hopped up on some drug. Way to cordon off the area guys. I’m grateful that you thoroughly searched the building for clues oh and that’s right. The killer. I don’t expect perfection from a game, but glaring errors like that just annoy me. I mean I could assume that because it’s a large building that they didn’t get every nook and cranny, or that vagrants have slipped in while the police were eating some donuts but wtf. They make it realistic by making sure I can’t find any ammo for my gun, so I have to make do with pipes and other objects, but in a building where there’s been a murder that’s been cordoned off by police forces, they didn’t search the place and find these druggies before hand?? Whatever.

I didn’t get the chance to do much hand to hand combat. I wasn’t exactly enthused to try either. If I want melee combat I’ll play Dungeons and Dragons or something. So yeah. I had my pistol. Used all my ammo on the aforementioned druggies and then I somehow drop my gun after I get hurt. The bad guy I was chasing stops, takes it and goes away. Of course my next objective is to retrieve my gun. Meanwhile I’m thinking. “No no. That’s okay. There’s no more bullets. I had 5 to begin with. I used em. Punk can keep it as a trophy. I’d much prefer to leave and get a drink.” Sadly, I think the game developers had other plans. That was about as far as I got for it was late and I still had to leave the office to go home.

Graphically the game looks really nice. The environment is pretty the lighting is well done. Everything looks great, except the people. The only game lately that I’ve seen do some decent looking people has been Half Life 2 and even FEAR to some extent. The guys in this game looked like they’d been beaten with the ugly tree. Maybe the model designers tried a bit too hard to make them look tough and gritty. I’m amazed at how well games can make vehicles/buildings/environments, but when it comes down to people, we just still can’t quite get it. We can get clothing to ruffle and move and flow, we can get hair to blow in the wind but the human face seems to be an extremely hard thing to reproduce. Or maybe it just takes too much to do it really well and the designers decide to sacrifice there instead of the environment. I don’t know. I only play the games.

Criminal Origins seemed to have a decent storyline building up, as opposed to Perfect Dark Zero where you’re just kinda randomly thrown into the mix, or King Kong where I think if you’d seen the movie beforehand the game would have been better. But I have yet to see the movie (yes, I know. He dies in the end.) So Giant Crab Attack! (might have to get that trademarked) seems to be the theme of the day for that.

Personally, I’m not fond of creepy games. Not in the least. FEAR kept me going because I had an assault weapon and there was plenty of shooting action. Games that limit your ammo and ability to fight against the hordes of the undead/paranormal/creepy pyschopaths, they’re uhh… Not my friend.

The guys over at The Onion have once again hit the mark with their riveting, gripping and truth-revealing stories. This time they took the story of Take-two’s new interactive game “Stacker” and really made it something worth reading. They interview both sides and get the full story without pulling any punches. Stacker looks to be a promising game for our youths and I personally, cannot wait for it to be released.

Zero. Well atleast the game knows it.

I boot up the game. Watch the screaming James Bond intro. Seriously. If Ms. Dark had been nude it would have been a killer James Bond opener. After having my brain maligned by that, I get into the game and immediately see “Co-op” And think. OHH SWEET. This game just got +1 for co-op. I grab my buddy from his cubicle and we set off to go kick some ass. After some initial confusion as to wtf we were doing we get the mission started and are immediately confused. Again as with the King Kong game, I can’t hear a DAMN word of what’s being said over the sound effects/music. Sadly the developers thought to bundle the voice with sound effects so all I could do was turn the music down and hope I could make out what tips were being given.

Right, back to the game. Now, since we started off in Co-op I don’t know if there was some part of the storyline we missed or what because the mission started and I thought I had resumed a saved game or something. No introduction as to what’s going on just, you’re sneaking into a base and you’re stealing something. I think. Again, I couldn’t hear. We’re going along doin our thang which is not knowing what we’re doing, but we seem to be achieving this goal quite well. We’re happy. There’s no real clear focus for what we’re doing so we kinda bumble our way around and manage to keep progressing forward. Then we get to this part where we need to use these camera drones or something. It’s this little flying robot and you control it remotely, now it wouldn’t have been so bad except for the AWFUL noise they use while you’re controlling it. It was annoying and highly irritating. I turned the sound down because EVERYONE was complaining. Anyhow, me and my bud are trying to figure out WTF we’re supposed to be doing with these things while straining to hear what our intelligence operative type person is hinting for us to do. Someone from the cubicle farm walks in, looks at the screen and asked us if we were playing Descent. I try not to cry.

Atleast someone put this guy out of his misery.

Finally we make out some instructions and get past one part and I sh*t you not, my buddy just randomly completes the goal. He went somewhere, the game told him to push some button combo, he did, and he blew up the CPU core.

Amazing.

We both looked at one another and stopped playing right there. It was just not worth the effort.
After this game we popped in Condemned: Criminal Origins.

So with our new toy at work, I got to try out King Kong for the xbox. I had stayed late after work in order to get some time on it without infringing on my other..”duties” and one of my work buds decided that he had had enough work for the time being and came over to spectate.

Poor choice on his part.

They start you off with a scene clip from the movie (look at that poly count!!) and then you’re in the game and on a boat. They start rowing towards the shore and the first thing my buddy and I noticed…the oars weren’t even going in the water! I mean…wtf? A “next-gen” game and they can’t even get the oars to go in the water. I can understand if the oars went into the water and we didn’t see any effect from that. I guess I’m just spoiled or expecting too much, but these are supposed to be the next generation of games. Half-assing these won’t work anymore. Okay, so the game gets a -1 for not being able to stick the oars in the water.

Next.

We get to shore. And you wake up with some girl looking at your face (a la Alyx from HL2) and you get up and look around. Your crew is running around and the first thing I noticed is that the characters don’t seem to be meshing with the environment well. They look out of place. Like you’ve got some adventure game with a static background and the characters moving around on “top” of it. I’m not sure if this was on purpose but it was strike #2 for me. Keep in mind I’m not but 5 minutes into the game. So then your little island adventure moves on up the hill or something, they give you a gun. You can’t shoot the girl or any of your mateys. Awful. They do have me shoot some big crabs. Then you get to a dark tunnel and whatsherface busts out a flare, because as we all know, you ladies just happen to keep flares in your purse/pocket/sock/shoe/bra for just such an emergency.

The party moves on and OMG GIANT CRAB ATTACK!! They mutter something in the background about picking up a bone. I manage to pick something up and it looks like a stabbing weapon, so I run up to the king crustacean and try to stab him in one of his like 6 eyes. I figure I should be able to get one of them. Ohh no. He grabs me with his giant claw and throws me across the beach. AND he broke my bone. Bastard. I say screw it, bust out my pistol of infinite ammo and start shooting him in the face..area. Do crabs even really have a face to speak of? Anyways. I shoot him a lot. Nothing happens. I watch the crab (with some delight I might add) grab a comrade and toss him around like a doll. Figuring this one of “those” battles, I pick up another bone and try the stab manuever again. I’m once more unsuccessful and they’re saying something in the background, I’m sure it’s exactly how to kill the blasted thing but I can’t make it out, becuase you see the SOUND EFFECTS ARE LOUDER THAN THE VOICES. I *hate* that. How hard is it to make sure that I can HEAR what the people are saying?? Not quite strike 3. So yeah. I’m still having at with Mr. Crabs and all of a sudden I see on my screen it tells me to do some button combo. It can’t do anything worse than what I’m currently trying so I bust a move and I throw the bone and spear the crab. He’s dead. Just like that. It was so anti-climatic it wasn’t funny. Me and my friend were both just like “Oh. That’s it?” At this point I had seriously lost all interest in the game and was continuing only to see if it got better.

So my wannabe India Jones caravan comes up to this gate and all of a sudden they start muttering about only needing one more. Pirate reject #1 one says “We only need one more bone”.
Okay, I didn’t even know we were collecting anything. And then Cabin boy busts out with “Come on one more” or something, quickly followed by Princess Peach with “Just one more”.

Got it. Thanks.
One more.
I’ll make a note of it.

Strike #3

Out came the disk and in went Perfect Dark Zero. That’ll be my next post. It won’t be pretty either.
My view on the game is rather surprising considering it’s been getting some good reviews. Perhaps I’ll try and weather it again later and see if it gets better.

So here at my office, an Xbox 360 was magically procured and we had the fun of setting it up in one of the conference rooms for general amusement and merriment. It came with a few games. Tried a little Quake 4, but it was too dark and people couldn’t see anything. So we popped in Call of Duty 2. Much more fun. Especially in the 1080i HD setting. Very pretty. It took me a bit to get used to the control scheme of a console again. Man I hate consoles for FPS gaming, but that’s already been discussed.

I’ve found that I really like the new system setup. The wireless controllers are cool and the whole dashboard dealie with all of its options are just a huge step up from the original. There may be some issues with overheating and other things but all in all it’s a really nice platform. We managed to lock it up once but it’s only been the one time. Do I think the system was worth all the hype? Oh hell no. I think it has tremendous potential though. Currently most of the games I’ve seen on it have all been PC ports and well…what’s the point of a console if I can play the same game on the PC? I think once some serious games for the 360 come out and ones that aren’t PC ports and are better on a console (RPGs) then we’ll really see it shine. Right now though, it’s a pretty nifty toy, but personally? I’m gonna wait until the price drops and some more games worth playing on it come out.

And since everyone else has box picture thingies. I thought I’d include some of my own. Because I’m unoriginal like that.

Someone put something in my cube. No one visits me. I don’t even get e-mail. Or phone calls. Or talked to. Or loved. Or cared for or hugged or moving on.

I like boxes. Do you like boxes? You know that weird asian video they had up on Play-Girlz? I watched it like 20 times. I’m so ashamed.

OH! There’s something IN the box!! Now I begin to wonder who I’ve made angry recently. Couldn’t have been that picture of a lizard I sent to Ingrid. She can’t still be mad about that

OMGWTFBBQLOLZ!!!!

I think my boss has secret ties to the Mafia. Or a large gun.

Who just found an Xbox 360 in his office with instructions to test it all day?!!? I did!! ROCK!!

Wait wait wait! WTF do I do with these cables and day glo colored baggies??!!? And get your hands off the box you Nazi bastard!!!

Yes! Now you too can explore your fantasies of fighting hordes of evil as you collect different strands of denim in order to combine them into the perfect pair of jeans!!! (A must have for you ladies)

No?

Fine.

Folks over at GameCloud did an interview with the HR manager of Cauldron, the folks bringing us the game “Gene Troopers”

I know. It’s the HR manager. You’re not gonna get very far with those people on things. Their job is to put a good spin on it and to make you think only good thoughts. And reading the article that’s all you see. The questions weren’t very digging, but I suppose the article does give you a nice overall feel of what the game will be. Can’t say I’m impressed. Though I suppose I’m getting what I asked for. Less WWII action and more robots in space.

As we all know, Planetside hasn’t been doing to well. My roommate got an e-mail from them recently letting him reactive his account for a free month or something. I, however, got no such e-mail. Hmph. Their official forums seem to be planning a bit more.

What do you do when your game isn’t doing well and you want more people to play? Why it’s easy of course. Let them play for free. Yup. According to the post you can play free for 12 months. Wow. 1 Year of free playing. Even if they do limit the account some what, meaning you can’t attain certain ranks and don’t have access to all the guns. That’s still a long time to get hooked so then you’ll want to upgrade to a paying account. Very clever marketing strategy on their part. How well will it work? I’m not sure. Free is a very powerful word to use and by using it, they’re making this sort of a last ditch effort to get people to bolster their ranks. I don’t know what changes have been made since last time I played, but unless they’ve gotten the game to a more appealing stage for more people, they could make it free without any restrictions and it won’t help them any.

Anyways, here’s to hoping their plan works and Planetside becomes a thriving and full community of people shooting one another.

I remember having seen a video of this somewhere. I can’t remember where though. It didn’t look too bad. The blood effect on the screen, while somewhat novel, looked like it just got in the way. Yes, my screen is bloody from my own body and possibly that of the thousand other evil Nazis I just killed. Great. Now I can’t see where I’m shooting and that’s bad because I can’t kill more Nazis. And as we all know, killing the Nazis is an important crusade in a game like this.

Oh, and don’t forget, because we have Nazis that must mean…yup you guessed it. More World War II. How quaint. Uber Soldier diverts somewhat in that it delves into the mysteries of the secret Nazi experiments that they conducted during this time. Not the historically accurate ones mind you, that might be a tad much. No, these experiments were about bringing back dead soldiers and sure enough they succeed and these re-animated soliders have super powers and what not. That’s why they’re “Uber“. Though, I will admit, it is a change of pace from all of the realistic WWII shooters out there. The consolation from that alone is enough to make me all teary eyed. You know how your eyes water when you get one of those really big yawns?? Yeah.

Anyways, the game looks decent enough (graphics wise) and it seems to promise a lot of action. A quote from their site reads as

As the German officer Karl Stolz who died in a rebel ambush, you’ve been used as raw material to create one of the initial UberSoldiers. Strike down the Nazi forces with 16 different authentic World War 2 weapons in 12 amazing levels. Use your wrath and unbelievable powers to eliminate the forces of evil!

I can hardly contain myself.

Interesting. That’s now two games we’ve had come out recently that deal with the West. It’s better than the stale WWII setting. The first game that came out was Gun. This was a 3rd person western shooter, so naturally it was quite unworthy of being posted here. Now we have Call of Juarez. This one looks to put you in the first person perspective and well, that changes everything. I watched one of the trailers where they lit things on fire. That was neat. Not only did the fire spread, it also looked quite realistic. I’m not sure how far the fire would go if you just let it be (he douses it with water in the trailer) but it would be kind of interesting to watch the house you were in burn down and thus kill you and everyone inside. Hehe.

Ahem

Now, frankly I don’t know how good Gun was, or if it was any good at all, and I don’t know how this one will be reacted to here in the states. (It’s a Polish game! Like Poland. Not like shiny shoes) I think it’ll garner some interest just because it’s something different. We haven’t seen western themed games in a while. It’s been sci-fi or WWII for the most part. Growing up in Arizona I think it’s kind of neat to see these games come out and to explore the kind of history that my home state has.